Last-minute Boyz invitee Howell chases limelight
HOWELL... I want to learn the game on a wider scale and to develop my technical abilities, but in order for that to happen, I would say that I need to get on to the European platform very early and very fast (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

For defender Maliek Howell, being called up to Jamaica's Reggae Boyz team for Tuesday's friendly international against Argentina provides a huge platform for him to impress club football scouts.

Howell, 23, unattached since leaving the University of Memphis last season, was a late addition to Jamaica's 23-man for the match against the South American giants at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, starting 7:00 pm Jamaica time.

He told the Jamaica Observer his agent has been working assiduously to secure a professional overseas contract for him. He said his inclusion in the Reggae Boyz squad will boost those efforts.

"I think it is a great feeling just to be in the squad to go up against these great players from Argentina," said Howell.

"I believe that this is also very massive for me because, as you know, Argentina is ranked number three in the world right now and so going up against the likes of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and [Lautaro] Martinez, who have all been playing at the highest [level], is a major boost for my career," he said.

"It is also another opportunity for me get a contract overseas because I already have stuff in the pipeline, which have not been said or published to the public, so it is just another opportunity to open another door for me," Howell said, while adding he is in excellent shape after working very hard on his game during the summer.

The former Jamaica College schoolboy football standout, who has one cap for the national senior team, pointed out that training with the Reggae Boyz senior players will help to improve his understanding of the game as well.

"I believe that rubbing shoulders with the likes Michail Antonio, Leon Bailey and rest of the English-based players, you will get an understanding and knowledge of the game and see where you are. I have the quality and ability to play at that level, but sometimes it is how you get there," Howell said.

"The mindset is to play at the highest level and I have a goal and my goal is to be one of the best right backs in the world, not just in Jamaica," he said.

"I want to learn the game on a wider scale and to develop my technical abilities, but in order for that to happen, I would say that I need to get on to the European platform very early and very fast because as you know age is coming along.

"I think that once that move overseas happens, I am very coachable. I am very technical, I have a lot of skills and a lot of attributes to carry to the game, so all I need to do is to get into the right environment and keep going and keep developing and the sky is the limit from there," Howell said.

Robert Bailey

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